August 8, 2018

A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Montreal, Canada


Welcome to Montréal, the cultural and economic hub of La Belle Province – the beautiful province of Québec, Canada!

When the city isn’t tucked away under a thick layer of snow, you can find Montrealers bustling through the streets in search of good food and a fun time. From snowy winter festivals to summertime street festivals, it truly seems like Montreal has it all. The one thing that has been in short supply for far too long is a good cup of joe.

But now, specialty coffee shops are opening up all over town, with skilled baristas serving up crème de la crème of Canada’s coffee roasters. I think it’s safe to say Montréal is on its way to be known for more than just poutine and hockey!

Lee este artículo en español Un Recorrido Por Las Tiendas de Café de Montreal, Canadá

Tulip latte art.

Why These Five?

Cutting this list down to only five was a difficult task. It’s impossible to pick the five “best” coffee shops in a city…  But these are some of my personal favorites. Not only do they brew amazing coffee, but the baristas and overall ambiance make them spots worth visiting.

So, while you’re strolling through the streets of this vibrant city, stop off for a coffee in one of these third wave cafés.

You might also like A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Vancouver, Canada

The bloom begins: brewing a pour over coffee.

1. La Finca Café & Bureau

Located beside Montréal’s financial district, La Finca is unmissable. Whether it’s a clean, complex Chemex or cortado, you won’t regret your order. Want a bit more space? La Finca also offers private workrooms – and if you’re there for a while, you can order a pastry to go with your coffee.

Where1067 Bleury Street
AtmosphereBright, fun, and energetic
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco
GrinderEspresso – De Mello Palheta (micro-lot house roast)

Filter – A selection of De Mello Palheta’s filter roasts

Must-Try DrinkChemex 
Retail OfferingsFresh bags of De Mello Palheta coffee and a variety of teas
Food & Other DrinksTea, pastries, and a weekly food menu
Nearby SightsOld Port of Montréal, Notre-Dame Basilica, and Palais des Congrès

A barista slowly pours water into a Chemex at La Finca Café & Bureau. Credit: Café Climbers

2. Paquebot

Specialty coffee accompanied by vinyl records? If that’s your idea of heaven, Paquebot Café is the place for you. Rated as Montreal’s best third wave café (by local specialty coffee app Th3rd Wave), you can’t go wrong with this cosy spot.

And with two locations East of Parc Avenue – and now a third in the Old Port – you won’t have to venture far.

Where2110 Bélanger Street (Flagship)
123 Mount-Royal Avenue West
520 St. Laurent Boulevard
AtmospherePunk meets cozy
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco
GrinderEspresso – Zab Coffee

Filter – Zab Coffee

Must-Try DrinkAny of their espresso-based drinks
Retail OfferingsZab Coffee retail bags
Food & Other DrinksAssorted pastries
Nearby SightsBeaubien Park, Mount Royal, and Jeanne Mance Park
coffee shop

Paquebot Café’s red-brick walls are illuminated by a purple neon “paquebot” – the French word for a passenger ship. Credit: Café Climbers

3. The Standard/Café Myriade

The Standard is a safe haven for specialty coffee lovers West of the Downtown area. For those who stick around the East, the owners also operate Café Myriade in Mile End. They offer a wide variety of roasted beans, sourced from all of North America, as V60, AeroPress, or espresso.

Each location has its own unique aesthetic, but you’ll get the same amazing coffee experience in them all. Great coffee from around the world, served up by top quality baristas in a gorgeous setting – hard to beat, eh?

Where5135 Sherbrooke Street West / 251 St-Viateur West
AtmosphereModern, chic and quaint
Espresso MachineKees Van Der Westen Spirit Triplette
GrinderEspresso – Guest roasters change weekly (Pilot, Transcend, 49th Parallel, and Ritual, to name just a few)

Filter – Guest roasters on a weekly rotation

Must-Try DrinkCortado, cappuccino or V60
Retail OfferingsRoasted coffee, AeroPress, V60, and other Hario products
Food & Other DrinksPastries and bagels from various Montréal bakeries
Nearby SightsAtwater Market, Westmount lookout, Mile End, and Plateau Mont-Royal
espresso machine

Café Myriade serves a variety of roasters. Credit: Café Climbers

4. Le Club Espresso Bar

Welcome to Le Club Espresso Bar, where coffee and cycling meet. Montréal’s summers feel like they’re over before they even start, but cycling here on a sunny day and then cooling down with a coffee? It’s a feeling that can’t be beaten.

The great location, friendly staff, and welcoming decor (not to mention the indoor hanging bikes) appeal to all types of coffee-lovers. If you don’t believe me, just ask 2017 Giro d’Italia winner, Tom Dumoulin, who stopped here for an espresso with his team this past September.

Where3801 Saint-Denis Street
AtmosphereBright and energetic, with a cycling theme
Espresso MachineSlayer Steam
GrinderEspresso – Kittel Coffee (blend, or single origin espresso)

Filter – Kittel Coffee (coming soon)

Must-Try DrinkThe cortado is solid year-round, although on a hot summer day, you might prefer their housemade iced tea.
Retail OfferingsCycling gear (helmets, socks, jerseys, nutrition, etc.), bike servicing/repairs, and 340 g bags of Kittel coffee or Traffic Coffee Club
Food & Other DrinksTea, pastries, and various brunch/breakfast treats
Nearby SightsLafontaine Park and Jeanne Mance Park
cup of coffee

Watch the cycling at Le Club Espresso Bar. Credit: @cafeclimbers

5. Café Pista

This amazing café and brunch spot is located in Montreal’s East End. Friendly, experienced staff combined with a rotation of some of Canada’s finest beans makes for an excellent coffee experience.

Visiting on a weekend? Be sure to try something from their market-fresh menu. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch their bike-powered coffee cart at one of Montréal’s many summer events.

Where500 Beaubien Street East
AtmosphereTrendy and bright
Espresso MachineSlayer
GrinderEspresso – Kittel, Zab, Pilot, Structure, Goth Coffee

Filter – Kittel, Zab, Pilot, Structure, Goth Coffee

Must-Try DrinkCortado
Retail OfferingsRoasted coffee
Food & Other DrinksPastries and brunch
Nearby SightsLittle Italy and Jarry Park
modern cafe

People-watch with a cortado at Café Pista. Credit: Café Climbers

Bonus Mentions:

Tried these five and still thirsty for more? Check out Dessert Cafe Momo in Monkland Avenue or L’or en Grain on Rachel Street East.

Old Port of Montreal

The Old Port of Montreal.

Montréal is slowly becoming a specialty coffee powerhouse.

I’ve introduced you to my favorite cafés in the city. They all offer great coffee, great ambiance, and great service. So, the next time you’re looking for a citrusy Chemex or a full-bodied espresso, stop by one of these spots to satisfy your cravings.

But don’t hesitate to venture off the beaten track and try somewhere new, either. New coffee shops are opening all the time. As a city, Montréal is just getting started!

Enjoyed this? Check out A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Vancouver, Canada

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Montreal, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.

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